“April is National Foot Health Awareness Month—the perfect time to show a little love & respect for a body part many take for granted.”
From morning to night, our feet take us everywhere we need to go, yet we rarely seem appreciative. Maybe the truth is that we take our feet for granted because they almost always get the job done without a hassle. But when something is amiss, our feet let us know.
“Most problems occur from poor footwear choices, poor hygiene or personal foot care, and lack of exercise,” says Dan E. Robinson, DPM, a board-certified podiatric surgeon who specializes in foot and ankle conditions with Bingham Memorial’s Orthopedic Institute.
While some foot woes are painful and others are just plain gross, they all can lead to bigger concerns if not dealt with early on. Dr. Robinson provides some advice to help you put your best foot forward.
Wear Shoes Around the House: Forget about leaving them at the front door; wearing shoes at home is a good habit for foot care. “Shoes are important to protect you from the heat and cold and man-made surfaces, like cement and other obstacles that can damage the foot,” says Dr. Robinson.
Practice Good Hygiene: According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, each of your feet has more than 250,000 sweat glands and can produce four to six ounces of perspiration a day if you’re active. Combat the stench by washing your feet, including between each toe, with warm, soapy water and a washcloth, and dry them thoroughly.
Wear Shoes that Fit: Common sense doesn’t always prevail, especially when it comes between a woman and her stilettos. Yet we wear them at our own peril, as many foot conditions—bunions, heel pain, and hammertoes are three of the most common—are aggravated by ill-fitting footwear.
Your shoes should offer plenty of support and be wide enough to accommodate the ball of your foot. The back should be cushioned and not dig into your heel or touch your anklebone.
It’s also important to match the shoe to the activity. “There are some shoes, such as running shoes, which can be used for walking or aerobics, but if you do a sport three or more times a week, you should purchase a specialty shoe,” says Dr. Robinson.
Report Problems: Examine your feet daily, looking for minor changes such as redness, irritation, calluses and toenail fungus, says Dr. Robinson. “And, if you have pain in your feet that lasts for two or more days, you should see a podiatric foot and ankle specialist.”
Find Foot Relief
Dr. Robinson is a board-certified podiatric surgeon. He see patients at Bingham Memorial’s Orthopedic Institute in Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, and Pocatello. If you experience any pain in your feet, call (208) 782-2490.